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Leaving a 23 year old marriage

(24 Posts)
ceejayjay Sat 02-May-20 18:35:54

Hi Everyone

I’ve been in an unhappy marriage for 20 years. If I’m honest it’s never been right but my love for my husband meant I turned a blind eye to things which later went on to fester. The main points were he was very selfish and was always out and left me to bring up our son single handed whilst also raising my 2 children from a previous marriage. At one point our Son was screaming as he thought his own Dad was a stranger and the hurt this whole situation caused me was at times unbearable. As I suffered from MH issues from childhood I got very good at painting on a smile and hiding my grief at being rejected and also the immense sense of sadness looking at other family’s and knowing what should of been. He played at being self employed and let tax credits and my ex husbands maintenance keep me & my children & always prioritised his beer ad cigarette needs over everything. For many, many years not one single penny was contributed to our family household even though he slept and sometimes ate meals there. Why did I live like this ? At first because I loved him so very much & then besides not having the funds to leave I desperately did not want to break up the family & hurt my children.
I even took on his elderly Mum 24/7 whilst he continued to work to line his own pockets.
Fast forward last summer when I told him it was over (the time finally seemed right). After 13 weeks of constant begging, pleading, suicide threats (slashing at wrists in front of our 21 year old Son) I u turned and decided I could not put him through the hurt......
2 weeks ago he started an argument over nothing, told me how low I’ve got him because I’m not the wife he would like me to be (as i am unable to let go of the past and I do not really like him let alone love him). And so there’s no longer any point me staying to make him happy because he isn’t happy & neither am I. Divorce papers were served last Summer & are just on hold. Where do I go from here ? I’ve a good job now but only do 15 hours so will look to increase on this. I don’t want to rent and blow thousands as I will definitely need it after the settlement as he has not been a great earner & I spent lots of years at home raising my family. He won’t leave and if it becomes toxic again I must leave quickly. My Son is coming with me & although grown up his contracts make it hard for him to get a mortgage & with no girlfriend on the horizon he is happy to kick around with me. I also have 2 rescue cats & a rescue puppy to think of. I would like to come to a financial arrangement before the divorce so I’m in a position to buy soon but that’s not possible or advisable is it ? Any advise gratefully received. Ps I became a Grandma on 1st April smile hence joining gransnet hehe. Thanks in advance xx

Doodledog Sat 02-May-20 18:54:16

I don't have much by way of advice, but wanted to wish you well. It sounds as though you have been very brave, and will need to stick to your guns later on and not let him back in.

One thing I will suggest is that you look carefully at your pension situation when it comes to any settlement. Too many women are left without much of a pension after years of bringing up children, because they agree to a 'clean break'. Your pension will determine your standard of living for the rest of your life after retirement, so make sure you have considered that before agreeing to anything, and don't let him walk away with all of it.

Congratulations on your grandbaby, and good luck in your new life. x

ceejayjay Sat 02-May-20 19:02:27

Thankyou so much Doodledog xx

Toadinthehole Sun 03-May-20 17:13:49

Yes, make sure you take legal advice on anything you can claim. Citizens Advice would be the best place to start if finances are short. I wish you all the best, and don’t get tempted to go backwards now you’ve come this far.

Coolgran65 Sun 03-May-20 17:47:02

I knew after a couple of years that I'd made a mistake. He did nothing, literally nothing to make our home, a home. I painted on the smiley face to everyone. He took nothing to do with bringing up our son. At one time he said.... I'll take more interest in him. when he is 12. I left him after 22 years when our son was going into year 2 in Uni. One night I just knew I could not do one more day. The for sale board went up the next day and was sold in two days.
I hadn't much of a clue as to how it would work out. Half the equity bought me a little house. I went from part time work to full time.
Two years later I met the man who was to become my second husband.
We are together now 20 happy years.

Please keep on going.
You will feel afraid but you will be fine. Solicitors know to look out for any pension he may have and you should make more of any assets you are aware of, bank accounts etc.

You can do this.

jeanie99 Mon 04-May-20 00:28:58

You have made the most important decision in ending a relationship, you now what to do.
You are starting life afresh which in your mind allows you to move on. I know from experience as this happened to me many years ago.

Finance is the biggy which you need to work out meticulously.
Rent or buy a property, you need to receive a forecast of your pension from the state and your occupationalpension. Can you purchase additional years, ask the questions and get good advice.
The settlement with your husband is so important take advice on this, lay it all out to your solicitor what your contribution was during your 23 years. This is your only chance of getting what you deserve and get the settlement you deserve.
I wish you every possible luck in this new future you are entering.
Family is everything I hope you are close to your children and can be part of their lives and congratulation on becoming a grandmother.

ceejayjay Mon 04-May-20 08:10:23

Thankyou for your helpful replies, they mean a lot at this time xx

Sparkling Mon 04-May-20 08:29:27

Now you have made the decision just make sure you get advice about the financial implications. Find out your what your pension will be. Consider your son may want in the near future to start his own life away from you, if he settles down with someone. It sounds as if you are close to your children and have a grandchild, so you will be able to cope. I would rent for 6 months to gather your thoughts once the break happens.
The very best of luck for the future, it looks daunting now but will be worth it when it's behind you.💐

silverlining48 Mon 04-May-20 09:41:07

You have been unhappy for all your married life, nothing will change so given you are part way there, just do it. Don’t waste any more time. Good luck.

ceejayjay Tue 05-May-20 06:36:01

Thankyou to everyone offering advise, it’s lovely to read such supportive messages.

vampirequeen Tue 05-May-20 10:43:21

You've done the hardest bit. You've made the decision to leave. Now you need some breathing space. Find a property to rent for at least six months. You'll need at least that amount of time to sort your head out. If you're like me then at first you'll feel total euphoria. The sense of relief will be overwhelming. Also talk to a solicitor asap. I think you can still get half an hour for free.

Once you've made the move and sorted out your head then you can plan the future in more detail.

jaylucy Tue 05-May-20 10:57:48

Certainly get legal advice and be honest with them. You need to make sure that you get your entitlement to any property and possibly his pension as well ( he may well have a private pension)
You basically, I'm sorry to say, have been his unpaid housekeeper for all this time, even to the point of becoming his mothers unpaid carer. That's no marriage.
I can only say that you look after yourself and son's interests now. You are not responsible for his actions.
It's really not worth any more unhappiness for you. If you can get more hours at your job and are happy to do this, please do. Make sure you have your own bank account and pay a visit to CAB to see what benefits you will be entitled to if only for a short time.
There is help out there for people in your position, for financial advice and housing. Don't back down and most of all, enjoy your grandchild when you can !

ceejayjay Wed 06-May-20 22:05:50

Thankyou everyone it’s nice reading your messages of encouragement xx

Evie64 Wed 06-May-20 22:52:45

Ceejay, go for it girl! Have you thought of going via Women's Aid? You may have better luck with rehousing? They are not only there for physical abuse but also mental and emotional abuse. If not, they may at least point you in the right direction, even if that's only the local Citizens Advice? Good luck and stay strong love.

TrendyNannie6 Thu 07-May-20 17:25:15

Wishing you all the best for the future Ceejay, and well done you , you and your son deserve a good life

ceejayjay Thu 07-May-20 17:46:40

Aww Thankyou everyone for your helpful replies xx

ceejayjay Sun 05-Jul-20 18:24:37

Well he smashed the house up last Sunday night & got arrested. He did it with the dog crate 😢. I haven’t pressed charges but he was locked up for the night. I thought it would be a wake up call but to my surprise he is still verbally abusing me. I’ve been waiting for my solicitor to ring me since Thursday

Namsnanny Sun 05-Jul-20 18:50:36

Oh my goodness ceejayjay, how frightening for you! Was your son a witness to his behaviour?

I really dont know what to suggest practically. The situation seems to be escalating, so do you have any one at all to go to just for one night, to start with?

ceejayjay Sun 05-Jul-20 22:40:53


Oh my goodness ceejayjay, how frightening for you! Was your son a witness to his behaviour?

I really dont know what to suggest practically. The situation seems to be escalating, so do you have any one at all to go to just for one night, to start with?

Thankyou for your reply Namsnanny
My Son has just left for the evening. He has done things similar in front of him before although not quite as bad. If I leave the home he will just sit tight and make no attempt to buy me out or sell it so I don’t want to do that I don’t think x

Ohmother Mon 06-Jul-20 08:08:26

ceejayjay. Be a squeaky wheel at the solicitors and keep ringing them and see where you are in line for a call. Make notes of when he is abusive and what is said; this may come in useful as evidence later. Make contact with Women’s Aid to get advice; especially about putting your passports and other legal references somewhere safe where he can’t get to them. Tell a trusted neighbour who can keep an eye out for your wellbeing when things get awkward.

ceejayjay Fri 20-Nov-20 20:17:08

The divorce has taken so long with Covid they have only just served the petition on him from the court.

The good news is I’m now working FT & for first time in my life earning some great money. Shame he will get half of this when the absolute comes through, as he has been the meanest husband I could ever imagine xx

ElaineI Fri 20-Nov-20 21:29:48

Ceejayjay definitely contact Woman's Aid. My DD did and they were really helpful. Gave her contacts, told her what to say and do and how to prepare. Also with this level of violence you should pack a bag for yourself and son, put important documents inside in case you need to grab and run. And make a plan for if you do - where to go eg. neighbour/friend, even leave a bag with them. Good luck x

Buffybee Fri 20-Nov-20 21:41:16

Hi ceejayjay, I’ve just caught up with this thread and I must let you know that from what I have read on Mumsnet etc this could be a very dangerous time for you, as he has the capacity to be aggressive.
Are you still living in the same home together?
If so, pack a small suitcase with change of clothes, any photos you might cherish, jewellery, your passport and anything that he could hurt you with by destroying it. Then hide it at a friends if possible or somewhere easy to grab in the house.
The next time he starts being aggressive grab it and get out of there, then ring the Police to remove him, before you go back.
Please look out for yourself!
And best of luck for your freedom.

Buffybee Fri 20-Nov-20 21:42:37

Cross post Elaine1